The process of settling disputes is not easy and it is left to the legal system to handle especially when both parties cannot agree. Most of the disputes that we have can be categorised as small claims. These claims are mainly handled by the small claims court Singapore. These courts are informal unlike the regular courts. They are also cheap and the process is very easy so as to make the process fast and friendly to both parties.
It is important to note that the small claims courts only handle cases that meet specific guidelines set by the system. The court cannot handle claims that exceed $ 10000 unless both parties agree in writing and even then, the claim cannot exceed $ 20000. The incident also has to be recent for the matter to be handled before the court.
There are many types of small claims Singapore that people file but those handled by the small claim courts Singapore include those that involve:
Sale of goods/ provision of services – If you are a consumer and buy goods from a supplier or hire the services of a company for provision of a service.
You can file for damages made to your property.
Tenancy contracts for residential property but the lease must not be older than two years.
Contracts involving the sale of foreign currency involving a licensed moneychanger.
Cancellation of contracts.
When you file a claim in the small claims court, there is a checklist that will guide you on the types of cases that the court can handle. If the case does not fall under its jurisdiction you will be referred to the civil courts. The system promotes mediation between the two parties. However, if mediation fails then the Referee has the responsibility of making a judgment on the case based on what has been heard. If one party feels that the judgment made was not satisfactory, an appeal can be made to the high court. However, the appealing party has to apply to the District Judge to grant a leave order that allows the filing of the case at the high court.
There are charges that are paid for the process depending on the type of case that you bring before the claims court. The charges are minimal compared to what you would pay for the litigation process in civil courts. The procedure is also cheap because you will not require a lawyer to represent you during the court sessions. The system only allows for all parties to represent themselves during the process.
The small claims courts are handy in helping collecting bad debts. Be they personal bad debts or corporate bad debts. For corporate bad debts it is important to remember that how you handle the debt collection process will determine whether you lose the debtor as a client or not. That is why it important to work with experienced and professional debt collection agencies that tries to maintain your relationship with your clients as much as possible.